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Gram Slam Lancaster


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#1 stevehnz

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:07 PM

How feasible is it to convert a Revell Lancaster III kit to a Grand Slam Lancaster? Hasegawa & Airfix Grand Slam kits as well as the Paragon conversions are pretty much unobtainium & very much unaffordium so I was thinking in terms of converting my recently aquired Revell kit to same. It already has paddle blades & uncowelled 'zorsts. The way they have done their top turret wouldn't take a lot to fill, likewise the side windows. I'd just have left then, afaik, with scratch building a bomb & bomb bay & retension chain. What drawings or articles are there out there I might refer to? Google hasn't shown up a lot on this. I'm guessing the two colour codes could be a pain too. :( I like the look of these in the TLS (?) & having read "The Damn Busters" several times over the years I'd love to have one in my line up eventually.
Steve.

Edited by stevehnz, 05 May 2012 - 12:08 PM.


#2 matthies

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:33 PM

It shouldn't be too difficult to scratchbuild a bomb bay. Try and get hold of the Osprey book on 617 Sqn, some good plan views and photos in there of the B1Specials. The Airfix Grand Slam Lanc does appear on Ebay quite regularly so that might be an option for you to obtain the bomb and bomb bay inseet..............or write to Airfix directly?
Dave.

#3 Miggers

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:41 PM

How feasible is it to convert a Revell Lancaster III kit to a Grand Slam Lancaster? Hasegawa & Airfix Grand Slam kits as well as the Paragon conversions are pretty much unobtainium & very much unaffordium so I was thinking in terms of converting my recently aquired Revell kit to same. It already has paddle blades & uncowelled 'zorsts. The way they have done their top turret wouldn't take a lot to fill, likewise the side windows. I'd just have left then, afaik, with scratch building a bomb & bomb bay & retension chain. What drawings or articles are there out there I might refer to? Google hasn't shown up a lot on this. I'm guessing the two colour codes could be a pain too. :( I like the look of these in the TLS (?) & having read "The Damn Busters" several times over the years I'd love to have one in my line up eventually.
Steve.



You've pretty much covered it there,it's an easy conversion really.

No front turret,no mid-upper,four guns in the rear turret,paddle blades and unshrouded exhausts.

The Grand Slam bomb bay was pretty much based on the Dams Lanc set-up but as you say,had the
retention sling instead of Downwood's V arms and spin up gear.

See if you can get your hands on Lancaster at War 2,at the bottom of page 102 there is a picture of
PD119/YZ*J flying straight and level without a Grand Slam underneath and at the top of page 106,
a shot of PB995 with one in place.

PD119/YZ*J is interesting in the fact that she carried the "day" scheme finish,but had a "night"
port fin/rudder assembly fitted,she was Johnny Farquier's aircraft..

Have you seen any of these?

A real B.I(Special)being bombed up with a Grand Slam



At 0.50 and at 2.20-2.28,you get a good shot of the Airfix bomb bay:



GA drawing of all Lancs with the B.I(Special) at the top.

http://en.wikipedia....o_Lancaster.png

Tamiya Grand Slam on Hyper Scale:

http://hyperscale.co...dslam72cw_1.htm

Edited by Miggers, 05 May 2012 - 07:43 PM.


#4 Seahawk

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:59 PM

I'm guessing the two colour codes could be a pain too. :( I


Not too much of a pain if you can lay your hands on these:

http://www.hannants....product/RAF7203

Also available in 36".

#5 stevehnz

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:04 PM

It shouldn't be too difficult to scratchbuild a bomb bay. Try and get hold of the Osprey book on 617 Sqn, some good plan views and photos in there of the B1Specials. The Airfix Grand Slam Lanc does appear on Ebay quite regularly so that might be an option for you to obtain the bomb and bomb bay insert..............or write to Airfix directly?
Dave.


I've tried emailing Airfix, they responded quite quickly but the news was not good, pity as I would have been happy to have their stuff for this. The last Airfix Grand Slam kit I saw on ebay a few days ago went for 46 which for me is pretty much unaffordium. It would be over NZ$100 by the time it got here so dicounted that, the Revell Lanc was about 1/2 that. I reckon I can spin up a bomb body from a bit of dowel, the retaining sling/chain will be a bit fiddly but not impossible. A bit of further digging brought up this page which I thought had some good details of the bomb retaining gear & bomb bay ceiling. The forward fairing seems to be shaped a bit but the aft one seems simply a wedge.
Seahawk, thanks for those links, yes, I'd seen all the first lot but the one for the decals was new to me & thoroughly useful, I've an order to go into Hannatns this week so will for sure include those, I'm guessing its the 48" ones I want?
Steve.

#6 Mark Mackenzie

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:34 AM

I like the look of these in the TLS (?) & having read "The Damn Busters" several times over the years I'd love to have one in my line up eventually.
Steve.


Steve,

The TLS may have been Light Earth/Light Green, see these earlier posts:

http://www.britmodel...mp;#entry395725

http://www.britmodel...p...p;p=773673

and on Hyperscale:

http://www.network54...e...(Long post)

IWM hase some nice photos of Grand-Slam Lancasters, below (if you havn't already seen). The contrast between colours does look strong in these photos.

Cheers,
Mark

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#7 Ivor Ramsden

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

It's always puzzled me why a special "day" finish was applied to these aircraft when, in the preceding 5 years of war, no such scheme was used on day bombers. In the last post the uppersurface colours of the aircraft with Night undersides appear to be exactly the same as those in the "day" scheme. Why?

Edited by Ivor Ramsden, 06 May 2012 - 12:56 PM.


#8 Seahawk

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:26 AM

Seahawk, thanks for those links, yes, I'd seen all the first lot but the one for the decals was new to me & thoroughly useful, I've an order to go into Hannatns this week so will for sure include those, I'm guessing its the 48" ones I want?
Steve.


For the fuselage sides, yes. Not sure what side is needed to fit on the tailplane.

#9 stevehnz

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:09 PM

For the fuselage sides, yes. Not sure what side is needed to fit on the tailplane.


Damn, forgot about them. :( ;) I'll try to scale them off the kit & work it out from there.
Steve.

#10 stevehnz

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:49 AM

I've scaled the tail planes codes of the kit tail plane & they come out to about 28", 30" would be passable. Any ideas if anyone does these?
Steve.

#11 stevehnz

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:27 AM

'Nuther quick question on these, the above photos to me confirm that the upper camo on the day finished planes is simply RAF Dark Green/ Dark Earth not Light Green/Light Earth as I've seen mentioned elsewhere. In the photos I would say the shades on the day scheme planes are the same as the the night finished plane. Am I right on this? :unsure:
Steve.

#12 Seahawk

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

'Nuther quick question on these, the above photos to me confirm that the upper camo on the day finished planes is simply RAF Dark Green/ Dark Earth not Light Green/Light Earth as I've seen mentioned elsewhere. In the photos I would say the shades on the day scheme planes are the same as the the night finished plane. Am I right on this? :unsure:
Steve.


"What is truth?", as Pilate asked.

This is not going to be a helpful answer. The question of Grand Slam Lancaster colours is a classic illustration of the fundamental dilemma of who and what you personally decide to trust as evidence. In this case you have:

- the evidence of your own eyes, viewing photographs which have been reproduced and rereproduced and probably viewed on a monitor with not necessarily reliable colour/tonal reproduction;
- logic based on AMOs, finishes applied to other similar aircraft, availability of paint and any other factor(s) you care to dream up;
- first-hand eye-witness testimony.

In this particular case the eye-witness evidence is of rather better quality than the "From what I remember they were brown and green." type reminiscence. As he recounts in the January 1976 Scale Models (pp.24-28), on 18 June 1946 the aviation artist C Rupert Moore made an officially-sanctioned visit to Mildenhall to collect data and talk to aircrew to support his commision to produce a colour frontispiece for Aircraft of the Fighting Powers Vol VII. I quote from his text:

"The only satisfactory way to find out exactly what colour an aircraft is is to go and examine it in the field and there are only 3 satisfactory methods of recording those colours. Either to carry the necessary equipment to enable one to make an exact colour matching in the field; to check against official colour samples; or, in the case of a crash, to collect bits of wreckage with the colours on them. I have used all 3 methods and and from small oblongs have prepared a series of 'Field Cards', consisting of a row of contemporary colours mounted along the edge of a narrow card. My first colour sample was collected in the grounds of the Doncaster Grammar School after a BE2e had crashed there nearly putting paid to the whole of our form. The Field Card I used during my visit to Mildenhall was prepared from an official set of MAP Colour Standards issued in August 1944. The aircraft I examined most closely was YZ-Z PD121. All the colours were non-reflecting MATT finish and let me state that the only time a heavy RAF bomber at this period had a glossy finish was when it was wet." [Capitals and italics as original.]

I quote all this to illustrate that IMHO this guy was being as scientific as the technology of the day permitted. Anyway, at the end of all this, he explains in 4 paras of detail the colours: "...the colours were changed. 'LIGHT GREEN' replaced 'Dark Green' and 'LIGHT EARTH' replaced 'Dark Earth'. Undersides were 'Ocean Grey', including the bomb-bays, undercarriage legs and other accessories. .... Squadron markings and the individual code letter, both sides of the fuselage, Trainer Yellow outlined Indian Red. The YZ was to the left of the roundel on both sides. The Squadron letters above and below the fixed tailplane were 'Trainer Yellow' only." [He had earlier explained that merely outlining the red codes in yellow still did not make them sufficiently visible visible so the colours were reversed to yellow outlined red: no date given for the change.]

So there you are: a trained artist, with a 30-year pedigree of interest in aircraft colours and with the avowed purpose of collecting data for a colour painting, visits an actual aircraft in the field with field cards based on MAP colour charts and gives you his detailed findings. What more could anyone want? Perhaps if he'd been a High Court judge or Archbishop as well? Personally I find such testimony, however implausible it may sound, hard to discount. But others are perfectly entitled to apply normative logic 60 years after the event and say the aircraft ought to have been in DE/DG/MSG and that from the photos they appear to be so finished. If I wanted to apply logic to support Moore's findings, I could note that he says earlier that, with the Grand Slam Lancasters' armament reduced to just the tail turret, it was the responsbility of KC-coded Lancasters to afford such protection as they could. That would explain the distinctive YZ codes and the emphasis on making them visible: using LE and LG on the upper surfaces might, rpt might [my speculation] might have been a way of making Grand Slam Lancasters more immediately distinguishable from above. To which it might reasonably be objected that the colour difference between DE and LE and between DG and LG was pretty marginal and that, on the evidence of the B+W photos, it didn't work very well.

NB also that Moore was viewing the aircraft in 1946, more than a year after the war had finished. OTOH the squadron was being disbanded so it's unlikely that too much effort had gone into repainting the aircaft recently.

And, in the interests of balance, somewhere in the depths of the Internet the former CO of a British Pacific Fleet Corsair squadron is almost foot-stompingly adamant that the codes on his squadron's aircraft were split either side of the roundel. All the photographic evidence to date suggests that he was wrong. Which is not quite the same things as saying he was wrong.

It's like all issues of faith: others can tell you their experiences and what they think but in the end no-one can make your mind up for you.

PS I have a Paragon Grand Slam conversion as well. Haven't built it yet: not sure what colours to paint it...

[Edited for typos.]

Edited by Seahawk, 08 May 2012 - 06:18 PM.

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#13 fatalbert

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:24 PM

Steve,

The TLS may have been Light Earth/Light Green, see these earlier posts:

http://www.britmodel...mp;#entry395725

http://www.britmodel...p...p;p=773673

and on Hyperscale:

http://www.network54...e...(Long post)

IWM hase some nice photos of Grand-Slam Lancasters, below (if you havn't already seen). The contrast between colours does look strong in these photos.

Cheers,
Mark

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Excellent pics,does anyone know what the lumps are just aft of the bomb bay......Neil

Edited by fatalbert, 08 May 2012 - 07:26 PM.


#14 matthies

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:26 PM

Fuselage letters are standard 60" and those on the tailplanes 48". Standard 5 Group red with a thin yellow surround for the former and all yellow for the latter. UNLESS you've decided to model PD121, YZ-Z which had the colours on the fuselage letters reversed. I don't htink there's documentary proof of any other of the Lancs being so lettered. Don't forget you'll have to fabricate a SABS as well......................
Dave.

#15 fatalbert

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

Fuselage letters are standard 60" and those on the tailplanes 48". Standard 5 Group red with a thin yellow surround for the former and all yellow for the latter. UNLESS you've decided to model PD121, YZ-Z which had the colours on the fuselage letters reversed. I don't htink there's documentary proof of any other of the Lancs being so lettered. Don't forget you'll have to fabricate a SABS as well......................
Dave.

Thanks dave,i realised that the answer was in the write up above.,whats a SABS ?........Neil

#16 stever219

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:53 PM

"Fuselage letters are standard 60" and those on the tailplanes 48". Sorry, but I have to disagree. Standard Bomber Command code letters were 48" (compare to the fuselage roundels which were 54" in the heavies). The yellow or, as the case may be, red outlines appear to have thickened the strokes slightly, but not enough to increase the height by 12". Sorry but can't help with the tailplane codes as all of my references are currentlly hiding in the loft.

The only photo I can remember of PD119 (LS-T?) shows a rather tired aeroplane which probably hadn't been hangared much, if at all, since she left Avro's, so a bit of paint fade isn't unlikely.

Hope this doesn't add to the confusion,

Steve

Edited by stever219, 08 May 2012 - 07:54 PM.


#17 fatalbert

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:13 PM

Googled it,SABS -BOMBSIGHT :D

#18 matthies

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:50 PM

Well Steve, confusion reigns! Two reference books I have give Lancaster fuselage roundels at 60" (and those for the Lincoln at 58". In a model, the difference is negligible I reckon. In all the photos I've seen of the 617 B1Specials, the codes look to be the same size as the roundels.
Dave.

#19 stevehnz

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:23 PM

Just measured the codes & fuselage roundels in the kit markings for the Revell Lancaster. To my eye the codes appear larger than the roundel but this is not the case & seems to be an illusion maybe partly due to the shapes or partly due to the paler yellow outer on the roundel. The codes measure 17mm which converts to a true fullscale 48", whereas the roundels are 19mm which is a true fullscale 54". Looking at the size of the tail plane codes both in photos & colour three views, & measuring the same area on the kit tail planes, 36" codes which would be a scale 1/2" or 12.7 mm are too big & would overlap the front edge of the elevator. The area measures about 10mm which is close to a fullscale 28". These would appear to be a non standard size in this case . It might be a job for some custom masks or a steady hand.
On the subject of colours, I'm sorry that I repeated the question when better perusal of Marks links would have told me what I needed to know. It sounds like LE/LG/OG. Any recommendations in Humbrol for Light green, I'm thinking maybe 117 or 102 with 119 Light Earth. Iopen to suggestions.
Steve.

#20 Edgar

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:29 PM

One item, in Moore's article, which is never mentioned, is that the Tallboy carriers, having more guns, were supposed to "protect" the Grand Slam aircraft. If those aircraft, viewed from above, are lighter in colour than usual, it makes them easier to see, especially as the Lancasters were spread over a wide area, in width and height; likewise, from below, a grey underside would also stand out against the other aircraft, when viewed from below.
Edgar